Juvenile Probation: An Analysis of the Case Records of Five Hundred Children Studied at the Judge Baker Guidance Clinic and Placed on Probation in the Juvenile Court of Boston

By Belle Boone Beard | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

The fundamentally interesting fact concerning this book by Miss Beard is that it represents a sincere and capable attempt to find out what can be done for delinquents on probation.

For long years we have perceived the great values that might accrue through a careful assay of what has been and what can be accomplished by active probation for juveniles. Probation, like many another social institution, was established on the basis of a finely humane and practically valuable ideal, but without provision being made for well-considered growth and development. Indeed, the progress of probation from its earlier and later sound conceptions of justice and economies can largely be characterized as blundering ahead. Mr. Chute, of the National Probation Association, who has reason to know the state of affairs in his field, places himself on record by asserting that, in general, probation service is ineffectively organized, is not on a professional basis, and that all studies of results heretofore have been limited and inadequate. Can anyone doubt, then, that a soundly based inquiry into the methods and accomplishments of probation is highly pertinent?

Taken as a whole, probation is an important social institution. There are in this country more than four thousand probation officers and certainly there must be many more than a hundred thousand individuals on probation. Probation as social service is a going concern with much to its credit, but its methods as well as its accomplishments have never been clearly delineated. As a matter of fact, the term probation means almost anything, but we choose to believe that the essential

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